The Tokyo Reporter

Shimane officials probe drowning death of child during field trip

Board of education officials appear at a press conference announcing an investigation into the drowning death of a sixth-grade female student (NHK)

IZUMO, Shimane (TR) – The drowning of a sixth-grade girl in a hotel bath here during a school trip will be investigated in light of findings that her mother informed teachers beforehand that her daughter sometimes gets dizzy taking baths, city education officials said on Friday.

The schoolgirl, who was on a school trip to Hiroshima Prefecture with 28 sixth-grade students from two elementary schools, was spotted drowning in a bath by a teacher at around 9 p.m. on Thursday, NHK reports (September 30).

The schoolgirl was rushed to a hospital but died about an hour later, said officials from Izumo City’s Board of Education.

An investigation will look for any problems with the way the incident was handled, education officials said.

Thirteen other schoolchildren entered the bath with the schoolgirl, but by the time a teacher from the other school was checking the facilities, they noticed only the girl’s set of clothes were still in the changing room.

“It was dark and steamy, so I couldn’t tell,” the teacher was quoted as saying by the Asahi Shimbun.

The girl’s mother informed school officials on September 13 that they “need to carefully watch my daughter because she once got really dizzy while taking a bath at home” in June, which was noted on a document drafted by trip planners from the two schools.

The mother also told school officials that as of September, baths were still making her daughter feel dizzy, the Asahi reported.

Superintendent Nobuyuki Makino told reporters he “hopes to determine whether there was appropriate management during the school trip.”

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